THE KOREA KRONICLES, PART XVI: 38 Days

2014-02-15 12.27.09-2Before you say anything, yes, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything. Thank you, Captain Obvious. My last post was written the day before my twenty-fourth birthday (not counting the filler post I wrote in April of last year because I felt guilty about not having written anything for almost two months) and, since then, I’ve been in an interesting place mentally, spiritually, so I felt a long hiatus from putting my thoughts down in written form was in order, at least until they could be mustered into some sort of coherence anyway. Well, that time has come. I’m back, bitches.

As of this moment, I’m less than six weeks away from the end of my teaching contract and, ergo, will soon be turning the final page in this chapter of my life and putting the final period at the end of the Korea Kronicles. That’s right, I am leaving Korea. For now, anyway. Admittedly, I spent most of the past year operating under the assumption that I would simply find new employment in this country once my job at the English camp had run its course. However, when I was home in Oklahoma for Christmas and the New Year a few weeks ago, the realization dawned on me that I currently have no desire whatsoever to remain in Korea. Given my current attitude both toward Korea in general and the ESL industry here in particular, staying on for another stint would be profoundly unwise. Continue reading

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THE KOREA KRONICLES, PART VI: Pork-Spine Soup, Fan Mail, and Why My Life is Weird

Photo 2013-04-21 02.32.35 PMI grew up in a cedar thicket. Apparently, that’s hilarious–or maybe it’s just hilarious when I say it. IDK. I guess you’ll just have to ask David and Colleen to be sure. (Inside jokes, FTW.) But, yes, it’s true. I did grow up in a cedar thicket, or something like that. In any case, there were a lot of cedar trees around. OH MY GOD I AM TALKING SO MUCH ABOUT CEDAR TREES. Moving on now, all that to point out that I don’t have any allergies. Cedar trees are notoriously profligate in their shedding of pollen and if I can survive being hemmed in by a Hell’s Horde of them, then, well, I’m fairly confident I can inhale just about any form of pollen imaginable and not degenerate into an inflamed sinus. +15 Bad-ass Points. Every Spring, whenever I hear someone talk about how terrible their allergies are, I’m secretly elated that I managed to escape that common misfortune (knock on wood). Continue reading

THE KOREA KRONICLES, PART III: A Homebody Living Abroad

Chilgok I’ve a confession to make. It’s a strange one, I’ll admit, but I think it’s important–maybe crucial–to understanding why I made the decision to move to the other side of the world. Here it is: I don’t like to travel. Crazy, I know. You may be thinking: “You mean you don’t like to travel and yet you traveled to a foreign country where you’ve never been before to live and work for a year? How mysterious.” ‘Tis true, I’m a man of mystery. And, by virtue of my newfound status as an expatriate, an International Man of Mystery. Boom.

Anyway, in the spirit of having majored in English AND communication theory in college, let’s unpack that, shall we? How does a guy who’s essentially a homebody end up moving to Korea for an essentially indefinite period of time? It ultimately boils down to my own definition of–and attitude toward my definition of–“travel.” When I think of traveling, I think of packing, flying, and lots of driving. I think of cheap hotels and endless eating on the go. I think of cramming as much activity, sight-seeing, shopping, and touristy shenanigans as possible into a week because you have to be back at work next Monday. That’s the kind of travel I hate. It’s mentally draining, stresses me out, and isn’t fun in even the most generous nuance of the word. If that’s what traveling looks like for you, feel free to go on without me. I’ll just kick it at home with the cat and we’ll have a ball together.

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